Although BBC’s critically-adorned detective series isn’t exactly known for its quick turnarounds, fans clamouring for Season 4 of the network’s Sherlock will have their collective appetites sated with this year’s Christmas Special episode, which has today unveiled its first promotional image.
With Benedict Cumberbatch reprising his role as the world-famous sleuth, the shot also includes his partner-in-crime John Watson, played once again by Martin Freeman. Now, you may be asking why on Earth are the pair sporting period garb, but that’s because the upcoming festive installment is set in an entirely different time period: Victorian London. It’s a spinoff story of sorts that won’t have any bearing on the core Sherlockian continuity, and executive producer Steven Moffatt offered up new details about what’s in store for the resident of 221B Baker Street.
“The first few days we were just so excited because we saw our show with Benedict and Martin in the proper gear and his extraordinary sideburns and you think ‘why didn’t we always do this? Why did we make that silly mistake of updating it?’” Moffatt said. “But by the end we slightly missed the modern iteration. Maybe we’ll just alternate them all. Mark [Gatiss] and I think we should do the 1940’s propaganda German version.”
Looking ahead, though, Moffat also went on to touch upon the status of the much-anticipated season 4. Not due to air until 2017, the next trio of episodes aren’t set to enter production until close to the time, but that doesn’t mean the creative team haven’t been spitballing different ideas.
“We’ve got a clear idea of what we’re going to do and it’s going to be a clear shift in tone,” Moffatt added of Season 4. “Yes, there’s going to be some dark stuff coming but there always is. There always fun and jokes and detection and all that nonsense. It’s dark in some ways – obviously it’s great fun and a Sherlock Holmes romp and all that – but there’s a sense of things coming back to bite you.”
The Sherlock faithful will know all too well that the final episode of Season 3 ended on quite the cliffhanger, opening up a whole new can of worms for the sharp-suited pairing to decipher. BBC’s upcoming Christmas Special may not reference that storyline, but we’re excited to see Cumberbatch and Freeman back in action later this year nonetheless.